Unfortunately, many people experience a hostile work environment every day. Although tighter laws have helped, this problem is ongoing. The good news is that because this continues, courts are holding supervisors, co-workers, and companies responsible, if applicable. If a supervisor knows about the harassment, had the opportunity to learn that it was happening, or failed to take immediate and proper action, you have a good case.
For you to take legal action in a hostile work environment case, there has to be proof of behavior or actions showing that you were discriminated against based on age, sex, disability, race, or religion. The behavior or actions must also have gone on for some time as opposed to you hearing someone tell an unfavorable joke. In addition to being a problem that you have endured over time, the behavior or actions must be severe, meaning there was a negative impact on your job performance.
It is important to remember that a hostile work environment is contributed to many things, not just bullying but also sexual harassment. Because there are some complexities involved, you need a professional legal expert on your side, especially when going up against a larger corporation that has both power and money.
Your attorney will help determine if your supervisor is strictly liable or if an employee or the company as a whole should be held responsible. There are two distinct types of sexual harassment, which include quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
The first scenario applies if you had been promoted, demoted, or kept at your current job because of submitting to or rejecting any type of sexual advance from your boss. In this case, even if you had submitted to your supervisor’s request, you still have a legal right to file a sexual harassment claim. The second scenario involves either your supervisor or a co-worker making offensive and hostile comments, behaviors, actions, or sexual advances toward you, causing your work performance to suffer.
Once you hire a qualified attorney, he or she will determine if your company has established and implemented a policy against a hostile work environment or whether there is a policy that failed or was ineffective. In that situation, there is a good chance that the court will hold the company liable.
Being bullied or harassed is not the time to try to fight on your own. This is when you need a reputable attorney who understands current laws and knows how to get positive resolution on your behalf. No person should ever have to work in a hostile work environment, ever. If you have experienced this type of situation or are going through issues now, take action by hiring a well-respected attorney.
Along with gathering facts, talking to witnesses, and performing other acts, your attorney will be there for you as you go through this difficult time. By hiring the right attorney, you will better understand the law and have the opportunity to assert your legal rights.